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Game Glance: Cats face off against Vanderbilt and Gonzaga

This is a very important week for this UK team.

Rob Dillingham Drew Brown - A Sea Of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are embarking on quite possibly the most important week if they hope to get their season and fan investment back to where it was just a few weeks ago.

This past week for the Cats was not what anyone hoped for, however, as they dropped back-to-back home matchups against the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers. Now begins the conversation; where does this team go from here? This week's games will likely give us a sign of where this thing is headed.

Sitting at 15-6 on the season, the SEC regular season crown is likely out of reach for this UK team, but now their attention turns to getting ready for a potential March run. But first, they have to get healthy. With DJ Wagner battling an ankle injury, Adou Thiero, and now reportedly Tre Mitchell battling back injuries, several of the key players in the rotation are not anywhere close to 100%. Despite that fact, they should hopefully pull off a couple of wins this week.

The week starts off as the Cats head to Nashville for a date with Vanderbilt Commodores. Jerry Stackhouse’s team currently sits at 6-15 on the year but is coming off a huge win for the program as they knocked off Missouri on Saturday.

The Commodores will look to exploit the weakness of this Kentucky team early and often on Tuesday night, as they are led by guard, Ezra Manjon. The senior guard is averaging 14.7 points on 44.3% shooting and 30% from three to this point on the year. He also leads the team in assists at 3.4 per game and adds another 3.1 rebounds.

The Cats have struggled to guard the perimeter all season, and that is the strength of this Vandy team. Kentucky is way more talented than the Commodores, but at this point, it feels like anything could happen.

It’s a get-right game for this Kentucky team, and they have to come out and respond appropriately.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores

Date & Time: Tuesday Feb. 6th at 8:30 pm EST

Location: Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville (TN)

TV: SEC Network

Stream: SEC Network or WatchESPN

Replay: WatchESPN and check your local listings

Radio: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Jack Givens

Roster: UK I Vandy

Stats: UK I Vandy

Odds: KenPom gives Kentucky an 84% chance of winning, while EvanMiya is at 83%.

Early Predictions: KenPom projects an 82-72 win for the Cats, while EvanMiya is going with an 80-70 victory for Kentucky.

The Cats will then return home for a game that all of the BBN has had circled on their calendars since last season, as Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs come to Lexington.

Unfortunately, for resume purposes, this Bulldogs team is not the juggernaut they have been over the last few seasons, but it will still give the Cats the opportunity to pick up a big win over a marquee program in college basketball.

Leading the way for the Bulldogs to this point in the year is forward, Graham Ike. He is currently averaging 15.3 points on 60.4% shooting and 38.5% from three. He is also adding 7.3 rebounds and one assist per game.

Sitting at 16-6 on the year, the Bulldogs will come to Rupp looking to land a Quad-1 win for their resume. The Cats might be reeling, but the importance of this game for both teams is still there.

It isn't the biggest games of the year on the calendar, but they may be the most important. Let’s hope the Cats can get back on track and bring home a 2-0 week as we head into mid-February.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Date & Time: Saturday Feb. 10th at 4 PM EST

Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington (KY)


Stream: CBS Sports

Replay: CBS Sports or check local listings

Radio: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach and Jack Givens

Roster: UK I GU

Stats: UK I GU

Odds: KenPom gives Kentucky a 59% chance of winning, while EvanMiya is at 57%.

Early Predictions: KenPom projects an 85-82 win for the Cats, while EvanMiya is going with an 83-81 victory for Kentucky.

How do you see this week playing out for the Cats?